The resignation of a senior manager or executive can be a body blow to your organisation. They are a key part of the management team who understands your business. By adopting a constructive approach to this situation you can minimise potential damage, provide a positive way forward and hopefully avoid potential disaster.
At the first sensible opportunity, meet with the individual to establish:
- The primary reason for leaving and what triggered them to consider it. This gives you an opportunity to resolve misunderstandings or issues. They may have a real or perceived grievance, if so deal with it properly (consider taking legal advice).
Even senior managers or experienced executives can act in haste and occasionally due to perception make ill considered judgements. Perhaps they don't realise what the future holds for them with your Company, even at this late stage they might just reconsider and stay.
- A positive way forward and parting on mutually good terms
- Protecting your organisations 'legitimate business interests' (Trade connections, suppliers, customers, trade secrets or other confidential information). If this is an issue, again consider taking legal advice and perhaps seeking an agreement for the individual to leave immediately.
- Management until they leave, perhaps their help training other members of staff.
- Possible help in recruiting that vital replacement
- Planned hand over of information, managerial transfer and return of property
- Find a small way of thanking them for their invaluable contribution. Remember it's a small world and we often find old colleagues in senior positions, perhaps with customers and suppliers who can influence the success of our business.
An immediate replacement or help managing the inevitable gap from executive leaving and the new manager starting may be required, Interim management can provide the solution.
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